Starz Developing Best-Selling Novel “Sweetbitter” into Series
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starz announced it is developing the half-hour drama series “Sweetbitter,” based on the national best-selling book of the same name written by Stephanie Danler, who has also written the script for the first episode. Plan B Entertainment tapped Stu Zicherman (“The Americans,” “The Affair,” “Six Degrees”) to develop the script with Danler, and both will serve as executive producers along with Plan B.
“Sweetbitter” follows 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars, and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. This is the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty, and fragility of being young and adrift.
A writer based in Los Angeles, Danler’s debut novel “Sweetbitter” was selected as an NPR Best Book of 2016 and ranked on the New York Times’ Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List, reaching #10; the Los Angeles Times’ Best Seller List at #2 and the Paperback Fiction List at #6; Amazon Top 100 at #28 and USA Today’s Best-Selling Books List. It also reached #10 on the Publishers Weekly Hardcover Fiction list and #13 on the IndieBound Hardcover Fiction list.
Senior Vice President of Original Programming Ken Segna and Vice President of Original Programming Patrick McDonald are the Starz executives in charge of “Sweetbitter.” Starz retains all global distribution and home entertainment rights to the series.
Starz (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that provides premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks and produces and distributes content for worldwide audiences, including its investment in the STARZ PLAY Arabia OTT service. Starz is home to the flagship STARZ® brand and STARZ ENCORE channels and provides high-quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services, including the STARZ app. Sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming.
About Plan B
Founded in 2002 and headed by Brad Pitt and co-presidents Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Plan B Entertainment has produced a variety of quality, award-winning film and television projects. Having established themselves with critically acclaimed titles including The Departed and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the company went on to produce Eat Pray Love, the Palme d’Or winning The Tree of Life, geo-political thriller World War Z, Academy and Golden Globe Award winning 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight, Emmy Award winning The Normal Heart, and the Best Picture Oscar nominated Selma and The Big Short.
Along with their numerous upcoming feature endeavors, they will continue to explore the realm of original content and television with second season orders for the Netflix original series The OA and FX’s Emmy-nominated Feud. They also have collaborations in development with outlets such as HBO, Amazon, and Starz.